2023 CLE Speakers & Agenda

Click the drop downs to view the agenda & speaker info.


Speakers with a (V) behind their name will be presenting via live webcast. All others will be presenting in person at the physical location.

Tuesday, September 26th

8:30-9:30 AM: Kandice Bell (V)Advanced Family Law: Violence in the Home

9:30 AM-10:30 AM: Rachel Kluender – Consumer Protection Law

10:30-10:40 AM: Break

10:40-11:40 AM: Keith MorrisonCommercial Foreclosures – Do’s, Don’ts, Tips, and Tricks

11:40 AM-12:40 PM: Lunch & Learn with Judge Cathi Compton – Ethics Lessons in Entertainment

12:40-12:50 PM: Break 

12:50-1:50 PM: Meagan Davis Finding Creative Balance (Work-Life Balance for Lawyers)

1:50-2:50 PM: Judge Melanie Martin – Specialty Courts

2:50-3:00 PM: Break

3:00-4:00 PM: Stark Ligon – Fees and Fee Agreements in Arkansas: Revisited after ABA Ethics Opinion 505

4:00-5:00 PM: Brooke-Augusta Ware – Family Law – Guardianships

Wednesday, September 27th

8:30-9:30 AM: Tabitha Lee (V) – Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the Law

9:30 AM-10:30 AM: Nate Looney & Katie Pipkin – The Do’s and Don’ts of Charitable Planning and Administration

10:30-10:40 AM: Break

10:40-11:40 AM: Deanna RayEthics

11:40 AM-12:40 PM: Judge Tjuana Byrd Manning – There’s a Code for That: An Interactive Look at Kids Court

12:40-1:40 PM: Lunch

1:20-2:20 PM: Jill Kamps (with Margie Lickert & Nathan McCarroll) Misdemeanors & Mental Health

2:20-3:20 PM: Jonathan MartinImmigration & Intersections with Family & Criminal Law

3:20-3:30 PM: Break

3:30-4:30 PM: Cliff McKinney The Recently Concluded Legislative Session – Real Estate & Business Law

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Kandice Bell

Kandice Bell is a licensed attorney in the State of Arkansas. Beginning in 1998, her practice has consisted of litigation in local, state, administrative, and federal courts in Arkansas. Her early career involved family law litigation, where she represented clients in divorce cases involving custody, child support, and property settlement agreements. Kandice has also successfully defended parents accused of abuse and neglect; obtained guardianship over minors, adults, and estates; drafted and defended premarital agreements, and represented clients in interstate child and elder abuse cases. While a public interest lawyer at legal aid, Kandice represented a 13-county territory wherein she primarily represented women in emergency divorces where abuse was involved; regularly appeared in court litigating orders of protection, losing only one case due to the client’s dishonesty on the witness stand, and diligently litigated property settlements for indigent women, reaching $100,000 collectively in less than five years.

In her criminal law practice, Kandice was a juvenile prosecutor before she would later defend juveniles in her private practice. As an assistant city attorney, she prepared no contact orders while prosecuting misdemeanor and domestic abuse cases in bench trials or in cases set for jury trial at the City of Pine Bluff. Kandice has successfully litigated major felony cases in jury trials across the state and has successfully appealed three client’s convictions-Class Y, C, and an A misdemeanor, having them remanded or dismissed by the Arkansas Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. In federal court, Kandice has successfully litigated federal civil rights cases under §§ 1981, 1983, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, Age Discrimination and Employment Act (ADEA), and other federal laws. Kandice has regularly researched, interpreted, and memorialized her findings on federal law, state legislation, and policies in her practice as senior counselor in the executive branch under former Governor Asa Hutchinson.

Kandice is an active member of the Arkansas Bar Association, where she serves as a tenured trustee, immediate past chair of the Commission on Diversity and Inclusion, and inaugural member of the Association’s Public Service Academy. Kandice has served as a special judge in the environmental court at Pulaski County, juvenile/circuit court at Jefferson County, and a special associate justice to the Arkansas Supreme Court in a case on appointment by Governor Hutchinson. Kandice is licensed in the Arkansas Supreme Court, United States District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas, and the United States Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. In the last few years, Kandice has become a sought-after speaker on many legal subject matters, particularly around interpreting the federal Constitution’s impact on public policy debates. In Kandice’s spare time, she enjoys volunteering as a presiding judge with the Arkansas Bar Committee on Mock Trial, reading, cooking, and enjoying her five-year old twin niece and nephew while visiting her family in Chicago.

Judge Tjuana Byrd Manning

Judge Tjuana C. Byrd Manning has spent her adult life in public service. She is passionate about children, women and girls, the elderly and healthy living. Byrd Manning chairs the Racial Justice Taskforce on assignment of the Arkansas Supreme Court’s Commission on Children, Youth and Families.  Byrd Manning is also a member of the Arkansas Commission on Juvenile Justice and a member of the Arkansas Continuing Legal Education Board.

Byrd is serving in her third year as Pulaski County Circuit Judge Division 8. Byrd was previously in private practice in North Little Rock where her primary focus was juvenile matters. She served as an Assistant City Attorney for North Little Rock (handling HR and truancy matters), the Sherwood Public Defender, and an attorney ad litem representing children in foster care.

She is a life member of the NAACP, and is actively involved in the North Little Rock Chapter and a life member of the UA Little Rock Alumni Association.  An active member of St. Mark Baptist Church, she serves as a large group leader/storyteller in children’s church and a Director for the Watson Primary Ensemble choir for children ages 3-11. In addition to the community and church activities in which she is involved, she enjoys travel, exercise and fitness, outdoor activities, and attending and watching sports events.

A graduate of Lonoke High School, Byrd received a degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, and a Juris Doctorate degree from the UALR School of Law in 1996.

She is recently married to the love of her life, Michael Manning and gained two sons, twins Owen and Nicholas, who have also truly captured her heart.

Judge Cathi Compton

Cathleen V. (“Cathi”) Compton is 6th District, 3rd Division Circuit Judge, serving Pulaski and Perry Counties. She practiced law from 1985 until her election in 2014, first in El Dorado, and later in Little Rock. She obtained her B.A., her M.A., and her J.D. from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Her most proud accomplishments are her daughters. 

Meagan Davis

Meagan Davis leads inVeritas government relations and strategic partnerships division. Meagan draws on her wide network and legal experience to plan and execute government affairs strategy, collaborate with stakeholders, and advocate priorities before the Arkansas legislature, regulatory entities, and at the local government level.

Meagan received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Arkansas in 2012, followed by a Juris Doctorate degree from the William H. Bowen School of Law in 2015. While practicing law, Meagan returned to school for a Master’s in Business Administration, graduating with a concentration in Finance in December of 2019.

Meagan is experienced in a variety of legal areas. After passing the bar exam, Meagan served as Judicial Administrative Assistant to Justice Robin F. Wynne at the Arkansas Supreme Court. In 2017, she became In-House Counsel for a real estate development company, where her work focused on Low Income Housing Tax Credit Developments. In 2019, Meagan transitioned to civil ligation joining Pulaski County Attorney’s office as a Staff Attorney. In 2020, Meagan was promoted to Chief Deputy County Attorney. While working at the Pulaski County Attorney’s Office, Meagan represented the county’s interest in county court, circuit court, and the Arkansas Supreme Court. She also authored a variety of County Attorney Opinions.

Outside of work, Meagan is very involved in the Little Rock community. She currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for ACANSA Arts Festival of the South. Previous board service includes Vice President of Development for the Junior League of Little Rock, Chair of the William H. Bowen School of Law Young Alumni Board, and Secretary of the Judges and Lawyer’s Assistance Program Foundation Board. Meagan is a graduate of Leadership Greater Little Rock Class XXXVI and a current member of LeadAR Class 20.

In addition, Meagan owns and operates davisdrew, LLC, an art company specializing in contemporary art and live event painting, where she regularly donates her time and talents completing live paintings for a variety of non-profit fundraising events.

Jill Kamps

Jill Kamps was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas, attending Western Hills Elementary, Dunbar Middle, & Central High Schools.  She graduated from Westminster College, in Fulton, Missouri in 2000.  During that time, she interned in Washington, DC for the late Senator Dale Bumpers, during his final term in the United States Senate.  She graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Bowen School of Law in 2003.

Mrs. Kamps clerked for the Honorable Mary Ann Spencer McGowan upon graduation and was fortunate enough to become a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the Sixth Judicial District in 2004.  During her career at the Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, she has prosecuted cases in juvenile court, district court, and circuit court.  Her extensive bench and jury trial experience, includes general, financial, domestic violence, sexual assault, major crimes, and homicide cases.  She was promoted to Division Chief in 2014 and has served as the Division Chief over Second and Seventh Division Circuit Courts, Perry County, Complaints, and all District Courts in Pulaski County.  As part of her District Court supervision, she helped create and enact the Pulaski County Mental Health Court.

She has been an Adjunct Professor at the UALR Bowen School of Law, teaching Lawyering Skills and Trial Advocacy, and is a frequent panelist at the law school.  She has been very involved with Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, co-chairing Soup Sunday in 2017 and serving on the Soup Sunday Committee in 2015 and 2016.  She has trained incoming rookie classes for the Little Rock, North Little Rock, and Jacksonville Police Departments.

Mrs. Kamps is married to David Kamps, also a lawyer in Little Rock, and has two daughters who attend Pulaski Heights Middle and Little Rock Central High Schools.  In addition to attending many volleyball and soccer games, she is a member of the Pulaski County Bar Association and of the Arkansas Coalition against Domestic Violence.  Mrs. Kamps is currently running for Little Rock District Court, Criminal Division, Judge.

Rachel Kluender

Rachel Kluender is an Assistant Attorney General in the Public Protection Division in Office of the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office.

Rachel has a diverse educational background with a bachelor’s degree in History from Lyon College, a master’s degree in Anthropology from The University of New Mexico, and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, William H. Bowen School of Law. Rachel has been working at the Attorney General’s Office since 2022 focusing on consumer protection issues. She has worked on cases involving fair housing, pyramid schemes, elderly exploitation, non-delivery of goods and services, and other deceptive trade practices. Aside from her consumer protection case load, Rachel is also tasked with reviewing and responding to all Freedom of Information Act requests that come into the Public Protection Division, as well as tracking multistate investigations that range from finances to charities.

Prior to coming to the Office of Attorney General she has held positions at the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and the Arkansas Secretary of State’s Office. Rachel has now served the State of Arkansas for over 19 years.

Tabitha Lee

Graduate 2003, Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts

B.S. 2009, University of Arkansas

J.D., 2013 University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law

M.P.S., 2014 University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service

Tabitha B. Lee was born and raised in Dermott, Arkansas. She currently leads the Delta Justice Center, a law firm dedicated to providing high quality legal assistance to historically underrepresented communities. She also provides funding consulting and proposal drafting services to non-profits and other social impact organizations serving the community. Ms. Lee has previously served as a judicial clerk in the sixth judicial district of Arkansas and as a Special Projects Attorney at the Center for Arkansas Legal Services working in the areas of criminal record sealing and veteran’s benefits.

Ms. Lee is the Chair of the Scholarship Committee for the Arkansas Access to Justice Foundation, a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and a Silver Life Member of the NAACP. In 2020, she was recognized by Arkansas Access to Justice with the Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award as a Small/Solo Firm.

Stark Ligon

Stark Ligon became the first Ethics Counsel for the Arkansas Supreme Court on April 1, 2021, after serving as Chief Disciplinary Counsel and Executive Director of the Arkansas Supreme Court Office of Professional Conduct from 2001-2021. A native of Arkadelphia, a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville (1968, B.A. History) and the UALR Law School (1975), he was licensed in Arkansas (1975) and later admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States. Ligon was in private law practice from 1975-85 in Little Rock and then Warren, where he served as a part-time deputy prosecuting attorney.

He served as a chancery judge and later as a circuit judge in the Tenth Judicial District in southeast Arkansas (1985-1994), chief legal counsel to a governor (1995-96), general counsel to a state agency, State Judge Advocate (Colonel, Retired) in the Arkansas Army National Guard, and as a mediator and arbitrator in private practice (1995-2000). He is a frequent presenter of CLE programs, especially on the rules of attorney conduct and related subjects.

Nate Looney

Nathan C. Looney graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville. Looney also earned his MPS and JD from the Clinton School of Public Service and the UA Bowen School of Law respectively. After graduation, Looney joined the University of Arkansas team as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science. Over the last decade, Looney has continued teaching at least one class each semester on government or law. Looney returned to his hometown of Jonesboro in 2013 and practiced law at Waddell, Cole & Jones, PLLC. Currently, Looney serves as the Senior Director of Development focusing on compliance and gift planning at UAMS. Looney now has the privilege of assisting supporters advance the mission of the health system by leveraging tax and gift planning strategies. Looney is a past recipient of the Arkansas Bar Association’s Presidential Award of Excellence.

Judge Melanie Martin

Judge Melanie Martin is the Little Rock District Court Criminal Judge (Division 1). She assumed the bench on January 1, 2019, following a special countywide election for an unexpired term. In 2020, she was re-elected without opposition to a new four-year term beginning on January 1, 2021. As a State District Court Judge, Judge Martin’s jurisdiction includes both Pulaski and Perry Counties. The Sixth Judicial Circuit Courts also have jurisdiction of both counties. In Arkansas, the offices of circuit and district court judges are nonpartisan.

Judge Martin graduated from UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law in 1992, and upon her admission to the Arkansas Bar, served 26 years as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in the Sixth Judicial Circuit. During that time, she gained extensive bench and jury trial experience in general, juvenile, drug, domestic violence/sexual assault, gangs, major crimes, and homicide/capital cases.

She served as a Division Chief of District Courts/Complaints Division, Division Chief of the Drug Division, and Division Chief in various Circuit Courts. She was promoted in 2005 to a Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney position. As a Senior Deputy Prosecutor, Martin provided and assisted with staff oversight and policymaking decisions and with the development and implementation of prosecutorial policies and procedures. She also supervised the office’s training programs. She served as a representative to the United States Department of Justice’s Violence Reduction Network, on the Faculty of the National District Attorneys Association, and as a Peer Reviewer for the United States Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance.

Judge Martin has been an Adjunct Professor at UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law, teaching Lawyering Skills and Trial Advocacy. She has served as President of the Pulaski County Bar Association, the Pulaski County Bar Foundation, the Judge William R. Overton Inn of Court, and the UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law Alumni Board. She is currently a Board Member of the UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law Alumni Board, a Board Member and a Master of the Bench of the Judge William R. Overton Inn of Court, and a Board Member of the Pulaski County Bar Foundation. She is a member of the Arkansas Bar Association, the Pulaski County Bar Association, the Pulaski County Bar Foundation, and the Arkansas Association of Women Lawyers. She was a member of Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Greater Little Rock Class XXXII. Judge Martin also currently serves on the City of Little Rock H.O.P.E. Advisory Council, the Pulaski County Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee, the Arkansas District Judges Council Legislative Committee, and as the Arkansas District Judges Council representative to the Arkansas Crime Information Center (ACIC) Supervisory Board.

As Little Rock District Court Criminal Judge, Judge Martin oversees a staff of 23 and presides over the largest district court criminal docket in the State of Arkansas. The Court, in session five days a week, averages 6000 new criminal cases annually. The court handles not only misdemeanor cases, but also daily felony arraignments. Judge Martin also reviews all affidavits and approves the issuance of search warrants and arrest warrants. In addition, as a District Judge, Judge Martin presides over various civil cases upon referral from the circuit courts.

In August 2019, Judge Martin implemented a pilot specialty court, the Pulaski County Mental Health Court, approved and designated as such by the Arkansas Supreme Court. The Mental Health Court works with a team of community stakeholders, in order to provide mental health services at the misdemeanor level. Judge Martin has also conducted Leniency Courts, which give options to citizens with outstanding fines and warrants for failure to appear or failure to comply. During her tenure, Little Rock District Court became an eFiling court. The Court also implemented a daily text notification system, alerting parties by way of text or email notifications regarding court appearances, thereby reducing levels of non-appearance. Judge Martin also revised policies of access to court records to make the business of the court more easily accessible to the public. The Court remained open and accessible to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic. When in-person trials resumed, the Court maintained and kept its trial docket current.

A native of Mountain Home (Baxter County), Judge Martin graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1989.She is a resident of Little Rock, a member of Pulaski Heights Baptist Church, and is the mother of two grown daughters. In 2022 & 2023, Judge Martin was named as Pulaski County Bar Association’s District Court Judge of the year.

Jonathan Martin

A Miami native, Jonathan Graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in 2011. He then spent a year studying international law at the University of Essex in Colchester, England. Jonathan came back to the United States to study law at the William H. Bowen School of Law in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he obtained his Juris Doctor. While in law school, Jonathan served as both vice present and treasurer of the Hispanic Law Students Association. In 2015, Jonathan won Alumni of the Year for his work with HLSA.

His first job after graduation was general counsel and senior human resources manager of a small restaurant chain in Arkansas. He has also taught business law classes at the University of Central Arkansas and the University of Little Rock.

In 2016, Mr. Martin joined the Monterrey Law Firm as an immigration attorney. As the bilingual son of immigrants, he felt like immigration law was his calling. After forming Turner, Rasch, and Martin, LLP in 2022, Jonathan has continued to practice immigration law, and as added family law and employment law to his practice. Jonathan practices in the areas of immigration/asylum law, family law, child custody & support, divorce, employment law, employment discrimination, and more.

Cliff McKinney

Cliff McKinney is a transactional attorney at Quattlebaum, Grooms & Tull PLLC.  His primary practice is real estate law and business and regulatory matters related to real estate.  A Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, Mr. McKinney is listed with The Best Lawyers in America® in the areas of Real Estate Law and Land Use and Zoning Law, is recognized by Chambers USA’s Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the area of Real Estate and selected as a Mid-South Super Lawyer in the area of Real Estate by Super Lawyers.  He was named the Little Rock Lawyer of the Year – Land Use and Zoning Law by Best Lawyers® in 2020 and 2022 and is rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell.  Mr. McKinney has served as lead counsel on dozens of multi-million dollar transactions throughout the mid-South region.  His projects include one of the largest real estate transactions in the corporate history of a major global retailer.  He also represents restaurant owners, including franchisees of national chains.

In addition to working on the transactional aspects of a project, Mr. McKinney assists clients with financing, business organization, environmental and land use issues.  His practice includes guiding clients through the regulatory process, including obtaining zoning changes and other governmental approvals.  He has extensive experience assisting clients in obtaining appropriate business licenses and approvals, such as alcohol permits and franchise agreements.  He also assists clients with permitting issues related to the Clean Water Act (e.g., U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 404 permits), the National Historic Preservation Act (e.g., Section 106 compliance) and the National Flood Insurance Act (e.g., letters of map revision).

Mr. McKinney also has experience dealing with real estate-related litigation matters, including adverse possession, boundary by acquiescence, prescriptive easements, quiet title, eviction, foreclosure and restrictive covenant disputes, among others.  Mr. McKinney has also been active in the legislative process, including serving on the Arkansas Bar Association’s Jurisprudence and Law Reform and Legislation Committees.  He has testified before the Arkansas General Assembly on many occasions and been involved in drafting and vetting real estate-related legislation.

Mr. McKinney is currently serving his sixth term as Chair of the Real Estate Law Section of the Arkansas Bar Association.  In that capacity, he spearheaded the creation of the Arkansas Real Estate Review and currently serves as one of its editors.  Mr. McKinney was the first attorney in the State of Arkansas to obtain the status of LEED® Accredited Professional, which affords him the unique ability to assist clients with environmentally-friendly green building projects.  Mr. McKinney served as the U.S. Green Building Council Arkansas Chapter’s Secretary and Treasurer and served on the Arkansas General Assembly’s Legislative Task Force on Sustainable Building Design and Practices.  He also serves on the state’s Old State House Commission.

Mr. McKinney is also involved in the academic side of real estate law.  Mr. McKinney is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law where he teaches Real Estate Finance and Real Estate Transaction Skills.  He has written a number of law review articles on real estate topics, including implied covenants, deed drafting, boundary by acquiescence, adverse possession and landlord/tenant rights. He chaired the committee for the third edition of the Standards for Examination of Real Estate Titles in Arkansas and authored the Arkansas chapter for an American Bar Association book on institutional land use controls.

Mr. McKinney attended the University of Arkansas where he obtained his Juris Doctor (cum laude) and Master of Public Administration degrees.  His focus on real estate began while he was a student at Southern Methodist University earning a Master of Laws degree emphasizing real estate.  Prior to law school, Mr. McKinney was a National Merit Scholar at Baylor University.  He is licensed to practice law in Arkansas (2002, highest score), Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, and he uses his licenses and experience in these states to assist clients in cross-border transactions.

Mr. McKinney is President of the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity of Central Arkansas.  He served as Board Chair of Arkansas Rice Depot from 2008-2009 and remained active in the organization through 2015 when he served on the merger committee that resulted in Arkansas Rice Depot merging with Arkansas Foodbank to form the largest hunger relief agency in the state.  Mr. McKinney now serves on the board of Arkansas Foodbank.  Mr. McKinney chaired the Arkansas Bar Association 2011 Annual Meeting and the 2015 Mid-Year Meeting.  He currently serves on the Arkansas Bar Association’s Board of Trustees and is a tenured member of the House of Delegates.


Southern Methodist University (LL.M., emphasizing Real Estate Financing, 2003)

University of Arkansas School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 2002)

University of Arkansas (M.P.A., 2002)

Baylor University (B.A., 1999)

Associations and Affiliations

Fellow, American College of Real Estate Lawyers

Arkansas Bar Association [Chair, Real Estate Law Section 2006-2010, 2015-Present; Board of Trustees 2021-2024; Member Board of Governors 2015-2020; Chair, Business Law Section 2015-2016; House of Delegates 2012-2015 (tenured)]

American Bar Association

Pulaski County Bar Association

Commission on Uniform State Laws (2017-2025)

State Bar of Texas

ICSC, Innovating Commerce Serving Communities

Christian Legal Society

Keith Morrison

Keith Morrison is a Partner at Wilson & Associates, PLLC. He is a native of Fayetteville, Arkansas. He received his education from Hendrix College (B.A. 1981) and Vanderbilt University, (J.D. 1984). He was admitted to the Arkansas Bar in 1984 and to the Tennessee Bar in 2006. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the Washington County Bar Association, the Pulaski County Bar Association, and the Arkansas Bar Association. He is a fellow in the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys. His civic activities include Hendrix College Alumni Board of Governors (1997-2000); Bethany Christian Services of Northwest Arkansas (Board of Directors 1998-present); and St. Joseph’s School (Advisory Board 2001-2003). He was a Clinical Instructor at the University of Arkansas Law School during 2017.

Katie Pipkin

Katie is an Arvest vice president, trust officer, and local trust manager in the Little Rock and greater Central Arkansas region. As a trust officer, she focuses on personal trust administration and estate settlement, while also assisting clients with their estate planning and IRA needs. In addition to her duties as a trust officer, Katie is also responsible for hiring, mentoring, and developing trust staff in the region. Katie received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Central Arkansas in 2005, and a juris doctorate from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Bowen School of Law in 2008. She graduated from Cannon Financial Institute’s Trust School in 2014, and received the Certified Trust and Fiduciary Advisor (CTFA) designation from the American Bankers Association that year as well. Katie joined Arvest in July 2016 as a trust officer.

Deanna Ray

Deanna Ray serves as Assistant District Counsel for the Little Rock District.  She is also appointed as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas and the Western District of Missouri.  She began her career with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in January 2019.  She is responsible for providing legal guidance on real estate, regulatory, labor and employment relations matters, as well as guidance to the Table Rock Lake Project Office and is assigned to other various litigation, and operations projects.

Prior to joining USACE, Ms. Ray worked for the State of Arkansas for more than seven years.  Most recently, she served as an Attorney Specialist for the Alcoholic Beverage Control Administration (ABC) where she regulated the sale of alcohol and helped usher in medical marijuana availability in Arkansas.  While at ABC, she was appointed by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson to serve as Interim Director of ABC.  Before working for ABC, Ms. Ray served as Associate General Counsel for the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission (ANRC).  Ms. Ray worked for Wilson & Associates, a private real estate law firm, preceding her time in state government.

Ms. Ray is a Little Rock, Arkansas native.  She holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree in environmental studies and history from Baylor University in Waco, Texas.  She is admitted to practice law in the State of Arkansas.

Ms. Ray is married to Skipper Ray, supervising attorney for Lender’s Title.  She has two daughters, Scarlett and Caroline.  Ms. Ray spends time giving back to her community through various non-profit organizations across the region.  She is a member and Board of Directors member of the Junior League of Little Rock; a Board member for Audubon Delta; a Board member for the Arkansas Association of Women Lawyers and a Board member for Ozark Land Trust.

Brooke-Augusta Ware

In a sea of princesses, ghosts, kitty cats, and witches at her third grade Halloween party, Brooke-Augusta Ware stood robed with her hair in a bun, bearing a gavel. She was dressed as Sandra Day O’Connor. Her parents had told her she could do anything she wanted (maybe figuratively, maybe literally), and in the early ’80s, the president had told Sandra Day O’Connor she could be a Supreme Court Justice, the first woman to hold such a seat.

Ms. Ware’s parents also told her, “To whom much is given, much is expected.” This is the cornerstone of her legal philosophy. As she was able to attend college (Hendrix College, B.A. in history with honors) and law school (Bowen School of Law, J.D., with high honors), she believed that motto even more. She has always had a heart for service and helping those in need.

Serving as a law clerk for the Pulaski County Circuit Court for two different judges, Ms. Ware had ample opportunity to provide access to justice and assist the public in understanding the judiciary. Providing dignity in the legal process made her proud of the judicial system and her role in it.

Now in a robust family law practice, Ms. Ware assists families undergoing major changes and family restructuring. Whether it’s a divorce, a custody or child support matter, a guardianship, or adoption, she provides a calm center to the storm you are encountering in your personal life. Ms. Ware takes pride in finding solutions that provide you and your family with dignity and solutions you can work with for many years to come as your family grows into its new structure.

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